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Blythe Danner Reveals Secret Battle With Same Cancer That Killed Her Husband Bruce Paltrow: 'Lucky To Be Alive'

Blythe Danner Reveals Secret Battle With Same Cancer That Killed Her Husband Bruce Paltrow: ‘Lucky To Be Alive’

Blythe Danner is counting her blessings right now while revealing she secretly battled the same form of cancer that killed her husband Bruce Paltrow years ago.

On Monday, Gwyneth Paltrow’s mother opened up to People about her battle with oral cancer for the very first time. Revealing that she is now in remission after a years-long fight (amazing!!), the 79-year-old, who is also mom to Jake Paltrow, shared:

“Everyone is touched by cancer in some way, but it’s unusual for a couple to have the same cancer.”

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The Meet the Parents alum was first diagnosed in March 2018 while she was in London working, recalling:

“I started feeling very woozy and I was forgetting everything. And then I felt a lump in my neck, right next to where Bruce had found his [in 1999].”

Her official diagnosis was adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare form of oral cancer that often develops in the salivary glands. The medical discovery instantly made her think of her husband who passed away in October 2002, she continued:

“I remember I looked up at heaven and said to Bruce, ‘Are you lonely up there?’ It’s a sneaky disease. But I’m fine and dandy now. And I’m lucky to be alive.”

What a positive attitude! Interestingly, the Will & Grace star faced some of her health challenge alone since she did not want to burden her children with the scary news following the death of their father, she explained:

“I kept it from my kids for a long time. I wanted to forge ahead as a mother, and I didn’t want them to worry.”

Oof. We cannot imagine how difficult it must have been to both hold on to the secret and eventually share it with her children. Elsewhere in the interview, the Goop founder opened up about what it was like to learn of her mother’s cancer battle, telling the outlet:

“I was obviously very shocked. It was scary. And it felt really eerie because it was so similar [to my dad’s].”

Any cancer diagnosis would have been unsettling, but it is especially heartbreaking to know it was the same disease that took a dear family member! No wonder she found it eerie! Determined to beat the health condition, Blythe underwent two surgeries and spent several years exploring alternative treatments. Finally, she underwent a third surgery by Dr. Mark DeLacure in 2020 which succeeded in removing the cancerous tissue. Wow! Gwyneth shared:

“She went through it with so much grace. I was amazed at how strong she was able to be.”

Throughout the Emmy winner’s journey, which also included radiation and chemotherapy, she insists she wasn’t afraid of dying:

“I wasn’t quaking in my boots. I don’t have any fear of death at all.”

After losing her husband, we’re sure she gained a new perspective on life and death. Opening up about this immense loss, she added:

“You never get over that kind of loss. Bruce was the heart of our family. And life is so much paler without him around. But grief is the price we pay for love.”


Related: Carly Simon’s Message After Losing BOTH Sisters To Cancer One Day Apart

Now that she is in remission, Blythe is focused on surrounding herself with family, gushing about how “nothing makes [her] happier than the kids.” So sweet! She is also committed to advocacy work with the Oral Cancer Foundation, which strives to raise awareness of oral oropharyngeal cancers, with which an estimated 54,000 Americans are diagnosed each year.

Speaking to the outlet in support of the cause, the foundation’s Executive Director, Brian Hill, urged everyone to get screened, saying:

“Screening for the early signs by a dental professional is quick, inexpensive, and painless.”

He also advocated for vaccinating children against HPV, a virus that can lead to cancer in the mouth. Meanwhile, Blythe is just grateful for the way things turned out amid her battle, saying:

“I think we’ve all become somehow stronger. It’s a bit of a crapshoot — this disease and this life. But I’ve had a career, great kids and a loving husband. I’m very grateful.”

We are so, so happy she is in remission!! Throughout the year, several celebrities who have or are currently battling cancer have opened up about their experiences proving it is more important than ever to stay on top of routine checkups! Thoughts, Perezcious readers? Let us know (below).

[Image via Goop/YouTube & Brian To/WENN]

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Nov 21, 2022 10:07am PDT